Fired Athens County Sheriff’s Deputy Ordered To Be Reinstated

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A former deputy that was fired by Athens County Sheriff Patrick Kelly was ordered to be reinstated by the Ohio State Personnel Board of Review, according to a decision filed Thursday.

The three-person board unanimously ruled to reinstate Shannon Sheridan but gave him no back pay from time he spent waiting for a court decision.

Sheridan was fired in June 2012 on accusations of insubordination and sexual harassment. Sheridan appealed his termination to the board a week after his firing.

Kelly claimed Sheridan made sexually harassing and inappropriate comments to two female cadets during academy classes, was insubordinate to superiors and did not properly process and log evidence.

An administrative law judge recommended that Sheridan be reinstated and the instant order of removal be "modified to reflect a suspension of 60 days…and for (Sheridan) to attend a sensitivity class, subject to any and all monetary setoff," according to official documents.

The board found that the recommendation of the law judge was appropriate in part.

"After a thorough examination of the entirety of the record, including a review of the report and recommendation of the Administrative Law Judge … the Board hereby adopts the findings of the Administrative Law Judge and modifies the recommendation …" the order signed by Board Chairman Terry Casey stated.

The reinstatement would be effective as of five months after Sheridan was removed from his position, the board decided.

The court also ruled that Sheridan be subject to a "Last Chance Agreement" when he returned to the sheriff's office, meaning he would enter an agreement with the office about conditions of his employment and his behavior would be monitored.

Sheridan declined to speak about the decision until he had time to talk with his attorney.

Kelly said Thursday morning that he planned to appeal the decision and has already notified his attorney to file the documents.

"We did everything humanly possible to help (Sheridan), but he did not respond to the help," Kelly said. "We will appeal this."

Neither attorney in the case could be reached for comment Thursday.